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Advanced Squad Leader counter pileWhat does too random mean?

I hear it all the time, I even say it. This game is too random, that action is too random. There’s too much random going on. But hold on, what does too random really mean?

I remember a session of Advanced Squad Leader where there was a Heavy Machine Gun firing down a street and whole platoon ran across the street and nothing. Not a single hit. They were probably jumping and waving and throwing their berets in the air while they were doing it too. Then a commissar walks by and shouts “boo” and the HMG picks up and runs. My opponent was laughing his ears off.

So ASL is very random, right? There’s loads and loads of dice and markers and stuff. But I’ve never heard anyone call ASL random (OK, I have but I’m not going to admit it).

So there’s something more to randomness than die rolls. And that something is decisions. (more…)